What a great way to start your head coaching career. Charles Harral has averaged more than 22 wins a season through his first five seasons at Arizona Western College, and he led the Matadors to a Region I Championship in his first season. While Harral is just beginning his 6th year in the Matador Athletics family, his resume spans more than a decade of championship-level coaching experience. While still earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise & Sport Science at Texas Tech University, Harral was a student manager for the Red Raiders’ men’s basketball team under ten-year head man James Dickey (former head coach at the University of Houston) and then none other than NCAA Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Knight. While at TTU, Harral was a part of a coaching staff that went to both the NCAA Tournament and the finals of the National Invitational Tournament. Harral’s list of star-studded bosses grew while as a graduate assistant at the University of Texas-El Paso to Doc Sadler (current coach at Southern Mississippi). Harral was part of the largest loss-to-win turnaround in NCAA history in his first year with the Miners, and was also part of back-to-back Western Athletic Conference titles and NCAA Tournament berths. Harral then became one of the lead assistant coaches at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, recruiting, coaching practice and supervising the academics of the student-athletes. Harral also helped lead UAFS to a 33-win season and an NCAA D-2 Championship. In 2006 Harral joined the staff of South Plains College in Levelland, Texas as assistant coach & recruiting coordinator under Steve Green, former Matador coach Kelly Green's brother. That championship feeling returned for Harral in his 2nd year at SPC when the Texans won the NJCAA title in 2008. Prior to arriving at AWC, Harral spent two years back at the NCAA Division I level as an assistant at Weber State University in Utah, where his teams once again found the winner’s circle as back-to-back Big Sky Regular Season Champions and NIT Tournament participants. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from TTU, Harral also has a Master of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UTEP. Harral and his wife, Nicole, who also works at AWC in the Registrar's Office, now make their home in Yuma their two sons, Dalton and Lincoln.
Second stint, ninth year. Kyle Isaacs spent 2008 through 2010 on the Matador Men’s Basketball coaching staff as a part-time assistant under Kelly Green, and then departed for a full-time spot as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2010-11. Isaacs returned to AWC when his good friend Charles Harral became the head coach in 2012. Isaacs was a student manager for legendary coach Bob Knight at Texas Tech University. While at TTU, Isaacs was part of the Red Raiders’ squad that went to the ‘Sweet 16’ of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. After being promoted to graduate assistant, he was part of the filming of the hit reality TV show “Knight School” and was on the bench when Coach Knight became the winningest coach in NCAA Men’s basketball history with his 880th career victory. Isaacs also teaches in AWC’s Physical Education and Wellness Department. Isaacs earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science while at TTU, and earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Management in 2009.
Opportunity knocked, and Kevin O'Connor answered. He returns to the Matador staff for his second season this year after helping the team to the Region I Semifinals last season. Prior to Arizona Western College, he spent two two seasons as a graduate assistant at Kansas State University while working on his Master's Degree in Academic Advising. During that stretch under Bruce Weber, Kansas State went to the NCAA tournament and lost to eventual national runner-up Kentucky. O'Connor also worked under Weber as a student manager for four years at the University of Illinois as an undergraduate. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from Illinois, O'Connor spent one season at Hopkins Academy in Massachusetts as the head coach of the middle school boy's basketball team and an assistant coach with both the girl's and boy's varsity basketball teams. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Want to know where a legend resides? Just check the end of the Matadors’ bench during games. That’s been the lasting image of Jim Amick over the past 20 years after Kelly Green convinced Amick to stay on as an assistant after Amick stepped down for the final time as head coach in 1997. But the primary image of Amick for longtime Matador Basketball fans is the incredible success he brought to the program during his main head coaching stint from 1978 through 1990. Under Amick, the Matadors became one of the most dominant junior college teams of the 1980’s, with a trio of conference titles and a pair of NJCAA Tournament berths. In fact, Amick’s teams never won less than 18 games in any of those 12 seasons. But for those that have really paid attention throughout Amick’s association with Matador Athletics, they realize what a longtime contribution Amick has made to the program as a whole for over 30 years. After stepping down in 1990, Amick provided guidance to Dave Babcock as he led the Matadors to four straight Region I Playoff berths, and then took over in a pinch when Babcock received an offer to move up to the NBA right before the Matadors’ 1996-97 season. Amick’s final overall head coaching record was an amazing 292-91 mark. Both Green and Charles Harral have been fully aware what valuable influence and wealth of knowledge Amick has provided over the last 20 seasons in helping lead the Matadors to five Region I Championships, four NJCAA Tournament appearances and 17 consecutive Region I Playoff berths. Jim and his wife, Diane, have been long standing members of the Yuma community.
James McNeill is a retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major with over thirty years of service. McNeill coached basketball teams at various units during his military career. In 1978, McNeill volunteered to coach the 2nd Marine Division All Stars and finished second in the East Coast Regionals Championship (out of 13 teams.). His team won the tournament the very next season. McNeill’s next big coaching job came when he coached the Hawaii Marines 1988-89, winning the Western Pacific Regionals in back to back seasons. As a result of McNeill’s outstanding coaching achievements, he was selected as an assistant men’s coach for the All Marine team in 1988 and the women’s head coach in 1989. In 2009, McNeill started taking classes at Arizona Western College and received his Associate’s degree in General Studies in 2011. While working on his degree, McNeill spent numerous hours at the gym becoming familiar with collegiate practices while also getting to know each player. McNeill received his Bachelor’s degree in Public Management from Northern Arizona University in May 2013. James is married to Brenda Ferguson McNeill and they have two daughters, Takisha and Nikea.